Chapter 25

Pesticide Application and Equipment in Greenhouses

Sprayer Calibration

Before selecting the sprayer to use, check the label and the IPM guidelines for the particular pesticide that will be applied. These give the recommended application rate, the type of equipment best suited for the application, the style of nozzle and other information for best results. Based on the type of crop and its size, select the sprayer that will give a good balance between droplet size and coverage. Calibration is the process of measuring and adjusting the amount of pesticide your equipment applies to the target area. It is a routine part of using any application system. It is a good idea to calibrate spray equipment on a regular basis. As a minimum, equipment should be calibrated during the first day of the spray season or when equipment is first put into use, and whenever nozzles are replaced. Failure to calibrate pesticide application equipment can result in plant injury, creation of a hazardous situation and wasted money. Frequent calibration identifies worn nozzles and keeps the operator aware of factors that affect application rate, such as travel speed, pressure at the nozzle, and type of nozzle in use. Multipurpose sprayers must be calibrated for each different use.

Techniques in Sprayer Calibration

Calibrating application equipment is not difficult. Be sure that all parts are clean and operating correctly and follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully. Spray equipment calibration begins by determining three factors:

  • Correct pump operating pressure
  • Type of carrier or diluent
  • Spray volume required

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